Life with Darrell First Clovis

Sunday March 9th 1997 started out like any other day. The sun was up, clouds filling the sky. I had gotten up at my regular time of 6 am, and after reading the paper and drinking coffee for an hour, I booted up my computer to work on my database program entering data. I was expecting a call from my hunting buddy Darrell this morning hopefully to do some hunting. As we discussed earlier in the week, both of us were itching to get outside into a field. We were of tired of working around the house, and our regular jobs.

The phone rang close to eight, and sitting in my office I was quick to pick it up. Darrell said he would be out in about an hour. Darrell arrived around nine and we sat around drinking coffee and talking as we looked over some maps. We left my house about 10 am and drove to the site we had picked out of three to start the day off .

We had chanced upon this particular site while driving from one hunting location to another., and seeing this a small patch of land which was plowed we immediately set upon finding the property owner. When we obtained permission to hunt the plot from the landowner, he was helpful enough to tell us of another field which he had plowed earlier in the month, and where in the past he had found the majority of his finds. It was interesting to learn of many relics being found so close to his home, which was close to one mile from the plot we wished to search.

The first time we had searched the field we had found only sporadic points, an important indicator was Darrell finding a section of a pendant. The field conditions were good for the time of year, extremely smooth. We really did not find a lot the first search, but both of us had high hope that this field would produce an exceptional find sooner or later.

As we traveled to the site the 9th of March, we were in high spirits for the first time in weeks. We both had been down in the dumps for due to gloomy weather and both of us being so busy working we could not get out to any fields. Darrell was saying while we were driving to the site that he had a feeling about today. I told him of a dream I had were I was traveling and seen a man on the side of a rise hunting artifacts. In the past this had sometimes been an omen of some sort, and I had come to recognize different aspects of my subconscious speaking to me.

Pulling up to the site, we were ready to hit the field. We suited up and started walking to the plowed area. The field we had to walk through to get to our objective had a large amount of standing water and we talked about the possibility of the field being like soup. It had been raining very heavy for the last couple of months, the flooding of the Ohio in southern Indiana and other border states ravaged by the amount of recently fallen water had just occurred.
My first Clovis, made of Attica Chert.
We smiled as we reached the huntable area which was very smooth and a little damp; perfect field conditions. We normally walk a regular pattern in a field and we discussed the type of pattern to hunt as we walked down the edge of the field to the rise.

The last time we started in the rear of the field, so this time I sort of wanted to start at the rise and work to the back. We immediately started seeing flint chips scattered about, in greater numbers than our previous search. About half way to the rise a sudden increase in the number of Attica Chert, better known as Indiana Green, started appearing. I tossed some to Darrell for inspection, and he to me. We found flake tools here and there, on many different types of material. When we reached area below the rise we decided to walk width wise instead of length wise in our search.

After turning around we were still finding many flakes when I came upon a thin blade edge barely protruding from the ground. I recognized it right away as a worked object even though only a small thin section of the edge was visible. I told Darrell to check this out, stepping back at the same time to not make the object so obvious as he walked over.

We like to call one another over when we are not very far apart and have the other find the artifact as well. This helps us both in recognizing relics in the ground, and helps break up the monotony. Often Darrell will get to take artifacts out of the ground that I find, and I artifacts out that he finds. It took Darrell a few seconds of scanning the ground to find the point since it blended in so well. I told him to pull it out and he squatted down next to the relic looking it over.

Commenting on how thin the edge looked, we talked for a moment on what we thought it was. I thought it was the basal portion while Darrell thought it was part of the blade., Darrell took a hold of the edge sticking out and gave it a gentle tug. 'It feels like a nice and big' he said. I had squatted down beside him to watch. He moved the blade side to side, saying again how thin the point looked. Finally Darrell gently slid the point out of the ground, and started to rub the excess dirt off of it.

"It's a Clovis", Darrell exclaimed. I just sort of stood there, thinking he was joking. "No kidding,, it's a Clovis!" he said. I did not know what to say. I just stood there looking at him rub the dirt off as the rain started to fall. T had always thought that finding such a rare type of point would be different, and I was hard to believe that I had passed a mark many never reach.

The Clovis is approximately 2 5/32 inches long by 1 inch wide, very thin. There is one, one inch flute on each side of the point. The material is light green Attica Chert with small white streaks. There is light grinding on the base and up the sides one inch .

This is my first complete Clovis point, having found a total of three pieces in the recent past. I say recent because while I have been searching for indian relics for 19 years, I have only in the last eight years picked up the three pieces. All have been from the central Indiana area. One point tip 1.75 inches long with grinding on both of the sides and a flute 1/2 of an inch on one side and 1/4 inch on the other made of a conglomerate material. One midsection 0.875 inch long with grinding and one side and a fluted which is made of a glossy brown flint. And a midsection two inches long made of Ohio Conchoctain flint with a flute on one side for approximately 1 1/4 inch with one side ground half way.

My other paleo find includes a complete Agate Basin point two inches long made of a white chert with both base and sides ground. This point was found in Rush County Indiana on April 1st of 1990. This point is also extremely thin with excellent flaking. The material is not exceptional, but for the area it is another fabulous find.

After finding the Clovis, the rest of that days search was decent. We walked back to the car not too long after I found the Clovis and retrieved our poncho's. The rain had started to come down steady, making the already damp field quite muddy. I found four more small points, all approximately one inch long, a stemmed point three inches long and a nice thumb scraper. Darrell found some small points as well as a part of a relic we believe is a birdstone tail made of hardstone. Throughout the day we both found numerous broken parts of points and flake tools. By the time we left the field in the afternoon, our arms and legs were dripping from being outside of our ponchos in the cold rain.

A strange incident occurred while I was writing this paper. My hunting buddy Darrell Cross also found his first complete Clovis, in Rush County Indiana on April 15, 1997. We had decided to hunt a field that we have been hunting for a long time. The weather was cold and windy with light snow and sleet forecast for the day. The sun rarely made it out from behind the clouds, and even if it did the temperature never got close to the forty degree predicted high.

Darrell and I walked the large field for at least three and a half hours, finding many nice looking flakes but very few worked objects. Each of us had only found a couple of pieces, nothing completely whole, when we decided to move to another field which we knew had been plowed. Walking out of the field Darrell suddenly stopped and yelled "whoa!.

He said "I am never going to believe this." So I turned and stepped over to him. As soon as I looked down I saw that there on the ground was a small 1 1/2 inch point that looked like it had the distinctive curve on the basal area as paleo points have. Without missing a beat as I stopped I squatted down and picked up the point. After saying a few choice words of encouragement and rubbing some dirt off, I patted Darrell on the back saying "Now you have found a Clovis point as well buddy." Darrell looked stunned and said that he could not believe it. In just over a month we both find Clovis points.

Darrells point is made of a white chert. The base is ground and each side has a small flute extending up approximately half of the point. Being a relatively small point, but having a large curved base, we believe that the point was resharpened extensively and probably discarded.

Darrell jokingly said that we will be getting spoiled finding Clovis points and other nice artifacts. Maybe he's right. No matter, we still had both found a Clovis.

Jeff Anderson

Wednesday, August 27 1997